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  #1  
Old 05-25-2010
ernewill ernewill is offline
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ernewill
Default Pre-Race and during race nutrition

Hi all,
I am swimming in the 3.5 mile Beach to Beach power swim in St. John this weekend. So far, the longest event I have been in is 2.4 miles. My concern for this 3.5 mile is a good nutrition program pre-race and some ideas for nutrition during the race. I started cramping (feet, hamstrings) at the end of the 2.4 mile. I realize some of this could be related to my kick. However, if their is a way to minimize this with good race nutrition, I want all the advice I can get. I have something of a program I follow. However, I don't want to describe it. I would rather have the pros on this site give me a fresh perspective.

Thanks for the help.
T
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  #2  
Old 05-25-2010
naj naj is offline
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Location: San Francisco, CA
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naj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernewill View Post
Hi all,
I am swimming in the 3.5 mile Beach to Beach power swim in St. John this weekend. So far, the longest event I have been in is 2.4 miles. My concern for this 3.5 mile is a good nutrition program pre-race and some ideas for nutrition during the race. I started cramping (feet, hamstrings) at the end of the 2.4 mile. I realize some of this could be related to my kick. However, if their is a way to minimize this with good race nutrition, I want all the advice I can get. I have something of a program I follow. However, I don't want to describe it. I would rather have the pros on this site give me a fresh perspective.

Thanks for the help.
T
T,

I do not participate in races but do a lot of open water swimming from 1 mile to (as of May 29th, 2010, 9 miles). If I am swimming from a distance shorter than four miles I am not bothering to feed during the swim. That being said, if you want some advice I would suggest a pasta meal the night before to give you some good carbs for fuel the next morning and a light breakfast the day of the race. Remember to hydrate before the race with water and/or some electrolyte drink. If you need a quick boost during the race you might want to look at GU Energy packets they can give you a nice giddy-up to complete the race.

However, all these suggestions are what works for me your tastes might run different. There are going to be a wealth of other perspectives find out what works for you and go from there. Good luck to you and make the TI community proud!

Keep Swimming!
Naji
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  #3  
Old 05-26-2010
ernewill ernewill is offline
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ernewill
Default thanks Naj

Do you or anyone have experience with the Hammer Nutrition products like Endurolytes? It appears to be a super electrolyte replacement product. I have used gel packs before. They definitely help with the energy. My big concern is the cramping.
Thanks again,
T
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  #4  
Old 06-03-2010
ernewill ernewill is offline
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ernewill
Default Results of my nutrition strategy for 3.5 mile open water

Thanks for the feedback. Let me tell you what I did. I decided that my typical pre-masters workout hydration wouldn't be enough. So:
  1. Good pasta dinner night before race
  2. Stretched thoroughly before bed
  3. started drinking water the minute I got out of bed at 5:30am
  4. 2.5 hours pre-race I had cereal and bananas for breakfast along with a nutrition bar
  5. 45 minutes pre-race I took 2 Endurolyte capsules (Hammer Nutrition) along with a lot of water(per instruction)
  6. Stretched prior to race
  7. at the 1 mile water station I drank 2+ ounces of Hammer Gel and 12 ounces water
  8. at the 2.4 mile water station I drank 2+ ounces of Hammer Gel and several ounces of a concentrated mix of Edurolyte powder in water (in small squeeze flask normally used for gel) and 24 ounces of water

The results: A little cramping shortly after the 1 mile mark. I relaxed my legs and the cramps went away. The gel must have kicked in because I felt a lot better and more energetic in the second mile than I did in the first. I restarted a very light 2 beat kick just as a balance to my stroke. As I went into the last mile and a half, I continued to feel very good. Kept a good pace (for me). Last two hundred yards I started a light 6 beat kick. No cramps. Finished and as I ran up on the sand....no cramps. Keep in mind, a few weeks prior I swam in the Hurricane Man (2.4 miles) in St. Petersburg and finished with major hamstring cramps.

So, I realize there are a lot of factors involved in whether one cramps or not and energy levels. And, I am a one rat study. However, I do believe my electrolyte and energy strategy worked pretty well and helped me complete the my longest swim yet. Finished in the middle of my age group. Now, I need to work on more speed. May have to go to one of Terry's open water programs.

T
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  #5  
Old 06-03-2010
naj naj is offline
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naj
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T,

Congrats on a super race! Sounds like you found a good feed source for yourself. As I stated before in long distance races, you can get away with just electrolyte formulas and water. However, if your looking at things above 18K (10miles or more) you'll need to look at loading up on carbs as well. There are a lot of different products out there so make sure you know what works best for you. But remember you may not want to do marathon swimming then again...

:)
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  #6  
Old 06-03-2010
ernewill ernewill is offline
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ernewill
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Thanks Naj,
Not sure about going further than 3.5 miles. We will see. I was at a 40 minute mile pace. But due to a navigation mistake in the first mile, I probably added to my pace. The guys that placed 1, 2 & 3 were swimming at a 29 minute mile pace. So....I have some work to do if I want to think about placing.

My conditioning has been good thanks to my masters workouts. When I finished, I wasn't out of breath. Now that I know I can complete the distance without major cramps, I need to pick up my tempo and build my legs for a 2 beat kick that will really contribute to my speed.
T
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  #7  
Old 06-03-2010
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CoachDave CoachDave is offline
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CoachDave
Default A good thread that should continue

Thanks for bringing this up-
Open water feeds are a learned skill. My first Channel swim had lots of lingering feeds, and cost me in the long run. There's no time for 30-second to 1:30 feeds and talking when a current is knocking you around.
The second time, Most of mine were in the :07 to :20 range, and I've since moved faster. Chug, gel, chug, roll over. I find it's easier to digest when done faster because I'm not going vertical then horizontal again.
I do not aim for high electrolytes in my open water swims if it's ocean. Inadvertantly you get some salties in there, so gels are OK, but some things can be a bit too concentrated. I also love the effects of a spike of caffeine when I'm getting cold or my mind is starting to be less, well, mindful. So here's my favorites
PowerBar recovery formula (yes- not the endurance one, but the one with protein makes my tummy feel more full in long open water swims)
PowerGel- tangerine caffeine.
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  #8  
Old 06-05-2010
ernewill ernewill is offline
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ernewill
Default Open water feeds

Coach Dave,
You are right about losing time. Because this was my first event at this distance, my goal was to complete it. However, now that I did it, I would like to place in the top four next year.

I did lose time at the water stations. They expect you to hand the empties back to them. If I could eliminate the electrolytes that would save me a couple minutes. Assuming I improve to a 33 minute mile pace with an efficient stroke, do you think that it is possible to hydrate with enough electrolytes pre-race to take care of the body for the entire 3.5 miles?

If all I had to carry was gel and if I could learn to suck it down with water faster, I would save precious time.

T
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  #9  
Old 06-18-2010
drone drone is offline
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drone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernewill View Post
I started cramping (feet, hamstrings) at the end of the 2.4 mile. I realize some of this could be related to my kick. However, if their is a way to minimize this with good race nutrition, I want all the advice I can get.
Some cramps are related to potassium deficiency due to electrolyte imbalance. Bananas are high in potassium and should help. I'm swimming my first open water 3k swim/race in a month, so thanks to everybody for the great insights into fueling my first (hopefully of many) open water voyages.
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